They call them accidents for a reason. That still doesn’t make them fun.
In a twisted way, I am sort of happy to have to write this blog today. Because I am a firm believer in authentic sharing. I want people to know that I have bad days and bad moments. I make mistakes. I don’t like the way social media has made us frame ourselves in a “perfect” light, where we only show our best sides and hide our wrong-doings and our problems.
I was in my first car accident as a driver this week. I rear-ended someone. Nobody was hurt. His car had minimal cosmetic damage. My car has minor damage. It was a fender-bender.
But good lord was I humiliated and ashamed. I cried on and off for about 24 hours. I did manage to get back on the road the next day. It was not as terrifying as I thought it would be. I am incredibly sensitive. I have a lot of very big, unwieldy feelings. So I was deeply shaken at first. But I got back in the car, and it was OK.
My mom’s mom never drove in my lifetime. She once told me she drove as a teenager, but got into a minor accident early and never got behind the wheel again. That could easily have been me.
And driving has always been loaded for me. As a small child I used to have nightmares about having to drive a car and not knowing how. They started when I was about 4 or 5. In fact, they may be my earliest memories. I was so small that in my dreams I had to lean all the way out of the car to pull the door closed. That is how vivid they still are. So a real-life car accident brought up some really old wounds.
Also, the guy was awful. He kept calling me a stupid bitch and a stupid motherfucker. His girlfriend showed up and she refused to look at me. And all of this upsets me because I was so sincere in my apology. I did not argue or try to blame him. I really wanted to make amends and do what was right. I called the police myself. I got the ticket. I called my insurance company. I was taking responsibility for my actions. And he could not see my sincerity. He would not look at my humanity.
But I did not have to eat these feelings. Not the humiliation of having hit someone’s car, or the humiliation of being verbally abused. I did not have to numb them with sugar. I hated feeling them. But to eat them would just be to stuff them down. A good 24 hours of crying helped me get them out. The only way out is through. It always has been. And not being high on food meant that I could think; I could be calm and rational. Ok, rational-ish. But I didn’t have to stew on it. And I didn’t do anything to make the situation worse because I couldn’t be honest or responsible.
I am grateful to have my eating under control every time my life is difficult. A difficult situation is just a situation. Food is the only real problem I have. And while I keep it under control, it’s not even that.
I hated what happened. It was a terrible experience for me. But life is not only made up of good experiences. This is how it is. And it could have been so much worse. I could have had an accident, and then eaten sugar over it. And then I would be miserable, would probably have done something really stupid, and without a chance of getting over it.
You are writing about something I can identify with right now. Hubby and I were on vacation (the first in 15 year. ) I was driving and we were involved in an accident. The accident was my fault. He was badly injured, so bad in fact that after 3 nights in ICU we were airlifted home so he could have surgery. I feel terrible the Guilt is overwhelming.
I’m so sorry that that happened, and that you are feeling this. I’m sending kindness and healing your way. For both you and your husband.
Kate, I am so sorry it happened but I am so proud of the kind, good and loving woman that You are. You handled it all so well and of course, You didn’t cover your experience with a lot of sugar. Good for You!!! I just wish that the guy wasn’t so rude and you had to deal with his anger like that!!! Life is made up of a lot of different types of experiences with a lot of different kinds of people, isn’t it?!! Love, Becky